Mental Health Journal 5 (3).docx - RUNNING HEAD MENTAL...

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RUNNING HEAD: MENTAL HEALTH 1 Mental Health Daniel Washington Georgia State University
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Mental Health 2 Mental health is an integral part of our everyday lives because it influences our day to day functioning, it contributes to our sense of well-being, it affects the interpersonal relationships that we establish with others, it affects our ability to cope with every day stressors, and it shapes our approaches to building a self-concept and maintaining homeostasis. Mental health is also shaped by each individual’s natural disposition and temperament, their genetic makeup, and the environmental conditions that produce certain behaviors. For example, when we think of an individual who has Borderline Personality Disorder, how are we able to conceptualize mental health? First, we have to understand what Borderline Personality Disorder is in order to make inferences on an individual’s mental state and how adept they are in forming a secure and integrated self-identity and coping with every day stressors. Those who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder often possess an unhealthy self-concept that is evident in how they process their own emotions, how they handle aversive situations, and how they build interpersonal relationships. Because Borderline Personality Disorder encompasses a persistent pattern of emotional dysregulation, those who have the condition are prone or susceptible to developing unhealthy coping mechanisms for dealing with both internal and external stressors such as experiencing episodes of intense anger or depression, resorting to self-harm and substance abuse, developing eating disorders, and developing suicidal ideations. All of these patterns of behavior would characterize an individual as someone who is maladaptive because of their impaired mental functioning. In typically healthy individuals, however, mental health encompasses patterns of behavior that help individuals sustain a healthy self-concept and meet their self- actualized needs. They have a solid understanding of who they are and what they are capable of achieving, as well as a solid understanding of how mental health acts as a precursor to social and environmental adaptation. In other words, mentally healthy individuals have the personality and
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Mental Health 3
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